My 19 Lessons From 2019
Dear friend, thank you for visiting to read my 19 lessons from 2019. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that 2019 is behind me, but, knowing and understanding my Purpose, if I can help even just one person with my lessons — and by sharing them openly — the year will have been worth it.
If I hadn’t turned everything over to God on January 1, 2019, the year would probably have sunk me, spiritually and physically.
But I DID turn everything over to God, and in return he helped me build strong relationships with fellow Christians who taught me loads about confidence, value, integrity, Purpose, and Faith.
If my Faith weren’t as strong as it is, I would say a lot more than I have about negative situations that caused major setbacks.
However, I DO have my Faith, and because of my Faith, I can see how God used people and situations to make my life far better and purpose-filled than I would have been able to do on my own — even when I thought the people and situations were as shitty as they could possibly be.
(Pssst. I’m Christian but I cuss a little. If you don’t like it… Eh, you may want to leave now.)
I would absolutely love to hear your feedback on my lessons as well as a few of the lessons you learned in the past year. Would you mind sharing in the comments?
My 19 lessons from 2019, or most of them at least, were originally shared with my email list. I loved the feedback I received, and received many emails asking where people would be able to find the lessons they missed.
Well… Here they are!
My 19 Lessons From 2019…
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LESSON #1: My Story has Value
In 2019, somebody told me that I was out of line for sharing a story from my personal life with a client. I disagreed then, and I disagree still today.
While I understand there is a time and place for sharing, I have also learned that people connect with people. People buy from people. People learn from people.
People do NOT connect with the stone-faced, life is perfect, public figures speaking AT them from stage.
I’m not perfect, and if I ever claim to be, please call the authorities. I have likely been kidnapped and replaced by aliens.
I burn food, can’t text without typos, and double-book my calendar. Every single episode of my podcast has bloopers, and I’ve gained more weight this year than I want to admit. And, despite being the host of Positive Productivity, I’m addicted to video games and need to be mindful about downloading or launching games on my phone or computer.
But all these imperfections make me human. These imperfections make me relatable. And the stories which result from my imperfections provide endless content for my blog, podcast and courses.
Don’t ever let anyone quiet you or your stories. My stories help other people, and your stories can help others as well.
LESSON #2: Living in integrity – personally and professionally – pays more than living out of it ever could
Being a chronic giver is NOT one of my 19 lessons from 2019 lessons, but it goes hand-in-hand with this lesson.
In 2019, I saw first hand how getting paid a lot of money (not me, by the way) and integrity do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. You would hope they would be paired together like… chocolate and peanut butter (pardon me, a kid is eating candy in front of me), but I learned that when you find the rare gems who DO work in integrity, you hold tight.
I chose, in 2019, to leave several opportunities which, while they would pay well, were not, in my opinion, designed with integrity.
I was scared out of my mind to say farewell.
In the end, however, my Faith and my family wove the web and I knew I was doing what was right for my moral fiber.
What happened next, however, surprised the heck out of me.
I thought that by giving up this work I was going to be opening my calendar up for a lot of freedom in 2020 (again, this was scary as ****). Instead, I opened floodgates of work which I never knew had been shut because of people I was working with.
My friend, when we’re not working in and with people of integrity, and, when we’re consumed with the need for money which blinds us from seeing (lack of) integrity, we’re stunting our own growth.
Civilizations won’t grow strong when their water supply is polluted, and our businesses won’t grow when our network is polluted, either.
Be mindful of the people you associate with, and be mindful of the person you become as you grow your business. Being a person of integrity doesn’t mean you say “yes” to everybody and everything. But, being a person of integrity means you follow through on — and when possible, overdeliver — on what you have promised to others AND to yourself.
(Psst… Listen to my episode with Lauren Zander to hear more about personal integrity. It was a mind-blowing conversation!)
Being a person of integrity does NOT, in my opinion, mean charging as much as you can while delivering as little as possible (if anything). It also doesn’t mean changing what is being provided AFTER somebody has paid their money.
As an influencer (and, by the way, we’re all influencers), we have the choice of whose products and services we want to recommend to others. We have the choice to recommend everybody and everything because we want the affiliate commission OR we can recommend those we know, like and trust to follow through to our communities.
Personally, I would rather retain YOUR trust by only working with and/or promoting those I trust.
Sound good? Good.
Living with integrity will mean more to me at the end of my life than a full bank account. I’m happy it didn’t take me until I got there to figure it out.
LESSON #3: There’s a huge difference between making a mistake and being a failure
In 2019, I made a mistake and over-committed myself, and when I finally pulled back, the price was a lot more than I could have ever predicted.
I remember sitting at my desk, angrier than angry at myself and everyone involved.
More than a few foul-mouthed, four-letter-words went through my head and came out of my mouth.
(No, you generally don’t see or hear me swear, but I can offend even the most foul-mouthed people when I’m that mad. Thank goodness it’s a once-a-decade occurrence.)
In that moment, I felt like a failure.
I had let myself down, and I had let my family down. I didn’t see how I could ever pull us back out of the hole I had dug us in to.
That hole went super deep, and in a future lesson, I’ll share just how deep it was, BUT…
I got us out of it.
A failure would have sat there, 2,500 feet underground, and surrendered to what felt like impossible, unbeatable odds.
I didn’t give up, and, considering you’re here reading this, I would have to think you’re not a failure either.
Failures stop looking for opportunities. My fingers are tired from flipping over stones until I found diamonds. But… I found them!
(No joke, I have this ridiculous muscle spasm in my right thumb now that makes my thumb twitch right off my mouse. It’s a crazy indicator of honor I received from not giving up. Click, click click.)
Remember: Just because the most well thought out plans don’t go as you planned doesn’t mean they failed. They simply paved your way to greater opportunities.
LESSON #4: Everything is overcome-able
I shared my credit score on my podcast in 2019. If you want to hear what it was, you will have to go listen. Believe me when I say, the admission was not a proud moment. (Nope, not telling you which episode. There are golden nuggets in each episode I know you will benefit from.)
What I’m about to share isn’t necessarily a proud moment either, however I know somebody needs to hear it…
I closed up my 7th year in business in 2019, and again, I was just shy of 6-figures. But, don’t think for a second that because I approached 6-figures I was well-off financially.
In reality, my family and I spent a scary 4+ months this year with our home in foreclosure.
If you haven’t been in foreclosure, I pray you never will be, and if you haven’t experienced it first hand, you may not understand how people get into it.
As a result of a messed up time in my business (I swear, some people should be glad I don’t use names), I went through a three month financial drought. It’s not that I wasn’t working — I was working more hours, with more focus than ever before.
But, due to circumstances I was given no say over, the money that came in for three months was hardly enough to feed my family, much less pay the mortgage and/or other bills.
So… the mortgage got put off.
By the time money started coming in again, the bank had stopped accepting partial payments, and because we couldn’t pay our past due in full, another month got added to the balance due.
Note: I realize that living without savings is NOT good. And I have since changed my financial practices to prevent this from happening again. If you’re looking for a change, read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
My friend, I don’t want you to feel bad for me. This all worked out in the end. Keep reading.
Sometimes, when we’re 20 feet under, we forget we can ask for help.
No, I didn’t ask people to give/loan me money.
We asked the mortgage company to reassess our loan, and their response was beyond imaginable.
EVERYTHING IS OVERCOME-ABLE, friend.
Say this to yourself 18 gazillion times until you believe it.
The mortgage company came back with a re-negotiated loan offer. Not only did they push the past due to the end of our loan, but they also reduced our interest rate by nearly 2% AND gave us two months to make our next payment.
Over the course of the loan, the interest reduction will make up for the financial setback which got us into this position by 1000%.
Yes, 1000%. I did the math. Middle school algebra *does* come in handy in your 40s.
Sometimes, when the sh!t hits the fan, the reward on the other side of the stink is better than you could have imagined.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and be open to all outcomes, even those you hadn’t planned.
I was setting my brain up to accept making double mortgage payments for the next six months. I was wrong in the best way possible.
I realize you may not be a religious person, and I’m not here to preach to you today. But please know that I’m praying for you and anything you’re working to overcome.
EVERYTHING is overcome-able.
LESSON #5: “Don’t let the devil win.“
On March 2, 2019, my 40th birthday, my husband gave me the best gift imaginable.
He told me five words…
“Don’t let the devil win.“
As a result of a Facebook post in a group I own (ironically telling people to move on if they didn’t have anything nice to say), I received a series of death threats.
The person sent seven emails telling me, in detail, what they would do to me and my children.
It was disgusting, but, even more, it was hellishly scary.
I was ready to close up shop. The business, the podcast, the Facebook groups, all of it.
But then my husband spoke his words.
“Don’t let the devil win. You’re only going to get bigger, and the bigger you get, the more haters you will have. The devil doesn’t want you to do good, so he’s trying to scare you off path.
“Do you want to let the devil win? Or do you want to help people?“
Clearly, I didn’t close up shop, and I won’t.
I’m here for a reason — to save the lives and businesses of burnt out, broke and broken entrepreneurs. If I give up, the cost will be unimaginably extreme.
The devil won’t beat me, because my Purpose means more than it can ever imagine.
I don’t want you to think I cast the threats aside and haven’t thought of them since. That’s far from the case.
Whereas I had previously tagged and named my kids in social media posts, I no longer do so. I won’t put my kids into jeopardy to grow my brand or to pursue my purpose.
And, my dream house design now includes a moat and an electric fence. (Partially joking)
When times get tough, don’t give up, and don’t let the devil win. I’ve noticed that the closer I get to success, the harder the devil fights against me.
Remember: The closer you get to the top of the mountain, the steeper the climb.
The morning I sent this lesson to my email list, for example, my MacBook Air breathed its final breath.
Pain coursed through my arms and belly, and I thought I was going to be sick. But… I decided to see if I could get financing through Apple to replace my MacBook.
The last time I applied, I was denied, however today… “Approved!”
The green words on the screen sent immediate cool relief through my veins.
I know replacement computers won’t always come as easily as mine came. I know haters may continue blasting us on all channels, and have others join in on their horrific cruelty. But, we can’t let the devil win.
I have a ton of good to do during my lifetime and so do you.
Now, get to it.
LESSON #6: Establishing communication boundaries is crucial
I used to think that by opening my phone, Skype, email, etc. up to clients 24/7 I would be earning more respect because I was constantly available.
In truth, I was not doing myself any favors, and I was hurting my own reputation.
“No, I don’t have a life, master. How may I serve you?“
Those words never came out of my mouth or fingers, however I wasn’t acting much differently.
I was the magical tech genie, and would pop out of my bottle whenever anyone called. (I just wish I had the body to make Jeannie’s genie outfit look cute on me.)
Do you remember Disney’s Aladdin? Genie’s only wish was to be free, because the respect he received when he was forced to respond right away was… less than.
Confession: I fell asleep on a client call in 2018. I literally fell asleep.
In all fairness, I had a severe kidney infection and was on some pretty heavy meds.
But this client was persistent (that’s saying it nicely), and she wanted a Saturday call.
>> I should have said “No” because I was under the influence of pain killers.
>> I should have said “No” because I was sick and had a fever.
>> And I should have said “No” because it was a Saturday.
But, instead, I said, “Sure, let’s hop on a call.”
You didn’t set up your business to be a 24/7 emergency hotline*. Stop treating it as such.
*I realize you may be a midwife or insurance agent. Your circumstances are different.
You deserve to have a life outside of your work, my friend. Actually, you don’t “just” deserve to have a life, you NEED to have a life.
Go get one, and stop answering your clients 24/7. They can wait until regular business hours for a response.
LESSON #7: Your health and self-care don’t belong on the back seat
On January 1 2019, I created my 19 for 2019 list. One of my 19 goals for 2019 was to not go to the hospital in 2019.
I know this may sound like a silly goal, however I neglected my health horribly in 2018, and was in the ER four times and admitted to the hospital once.
By the way, no, I am not hypochondriac. My team and husband had to literally force my hand to go take care of myself.
My pursuit of money and keeping my family was taking priority over a 104 degree fever and my swollen face. I wish I was joking.
Well, my friend, on the day I shared lesson #7 of my 19 lessons from 2019 with my list, 350 days into 2019, that goal took a backseat. It had to, and I’m happy I did NOT achieve the hospital goal in 2019.
The Kim of 2018 would have put up with the pain for another week or two.
She would have done her job, in pain, and with half-focus due to the pain.
Her attention to her family would have been squashed, because the pain was unmanageable and, after working, she would have crawled back into bed.
This would have gone on for weeks — until Mr. Awesome and the team intervened.
The person I became said, “Heck no! The work can wait! I’ll perform a lot better and get the work done faster and with higher quality if I go take care of myself NOW.“
So I did.
We can tell ourselves 10,001+ excuses why we can’t take care of ourselves, but someday our body won’t give us a chance to make another excuse.
Morbid, I know, but true.
Take care of yourself now and, God willing, you will be able to live into your Purpose for many years more than you would be able to do otherwise.
LESSON #8: Batching Isn’t Just for Cookies…
When I don’t batch create content — and plan to batch create content — content doesn’t get created. Period.
For example, my Instagram feed.
Right now, the next 30+ days are already created, captioned and scheduled. Better yet, they will auto-post themselves. (Curious what tool I use to do this? Click HERE. Tailwind is one of my favorite business tools… EVER!)
(By the way, even before I hit publish, I can hear you IG users thinking I’m missing out on an opportunity by scheduling this far in advance. I hear you, and I’ve already planned — and blocked out — time on my calendar for stories and lives. Real-time and behind the scenes footage will not be forgotten in this strategy!)
Before I batch created my IG posts, however, my posting was very sporadic. Months often passed between posts, and in that time, many followers would forget why they followed me in the first place.
Don’t lose your subscribers/followers due to sporadic posting practices.
Somewhere out there, somebody out there is waiting for you and the insight you can give them. Are you doing them disservice by not controlling your content (creation) calendar?
Remember: If you don’t prioritize your content creation calendar, nobody else will.
I want you to take time in the next day to block out time — weekly — on your calendar to batch create content. I personally have Monday AND Friday blocked out for content creation (videos, articles and social media) and Tuesdays blocked for podcasts.
Whether the content is written or video, photos or audios, batching and blocking are sure to be blessings in your business, just as they have been in mine.
LESSON #9: Start Before You’re Finished
I planned on launching my 30-Day Work Smarter Not Harder Challenge in June 2019, however all 30 videos weren’t recorded, much less edited.
I expressed my frustration to my friend RichE Otey (one of my co-founders in the upcoming Purposeful Parentpreneurs brand/podcast), and he provided a brilliant response:
“Kim, why do you need to have everything ready right now? Aren’t you dripping the content out to people?“
Dripping, by the way, refers to how the content is delivered to people who request/buy it. And, he was absolutely correct!
I didn’t need to have all 30 days ready when I launched! I just needed to stay a couple days ahead of the people who had signed up!
Instantly, the stress was gone, and, with the stress relieved, I was able to create the content more easily.
Fast forward to September 2019. I knew I had two programs I wanted to release, however I had not had time to record the videos OR create a funnel for either.
I could feel days — if not months — slipping away, and I feared it would be 2020, or worse, 2021, before I got around to them.
Enter Michelle Weinstein, host of the Success Unfiltered podcast, and Molly Mahoney, Founder of The Prepared Performer. This fall, I learned from and witnessed first hand how they both created courses/programs as they delivered them to paying clients.
I knew I didn’t have 10-20 hours a week in my time bank to record/create content for a program, but I sure as heck could make 3-5 hours!
The BETA releases of my two programs, Feel Good Funnels and Pinterest for Podcasters, wrapped in December 2019 after a series of live, weekly calls. I’ll be spending January 2020 listening to and re-recording each of the calls into smaller bite-sized chunks, but, because the slides were created on a weekly basis, MUCH of the work is already underway.
Note: I say underway because I want to redo some of the slides. The perfectionist in me lingers from time to time, and my slides are where she often strikes.
In any case, both programs will be available in early 2020, and BETA clients will have access to the finished product!
Am I trying to sell them to you now? No. (But if you’re interested in either, just send me a message!)
What I AM trying to do is tell you to start, even if you’re not finished.
Friend, your site can go live even if the colors aren’t perfect; your email series can be published even if there are emails still to be written; and your program can be sold even before you have worked out all the details.
All you need to do is push GO.
Will you push GO? I’d love to know how you will let go of perfection and push GO this year. Leave me a message in the comments and then come back to read the rest of my 19 lessons from 2019!
LESSON #10: Showboating Should Be Left to Cruise Ship Performers
I don’t know if I already shared, however I had an outline of my 19 lessons from 2019 before I started sending them, a day at a time, to my list.
The night before I sent lesson #10, I had yet another reminder about how timing is everything.
I was doing a quick “the kids are finally down for bed — let me check Instagram for a moment” check, and I came across an image of someone I know on an airplane displaying their first class seats.
My first reaction was, “That is so cool! They got a sweet upgrade!”, but then I read the caption…
If an Instagram caption could read “brag brag brag brag brag brag brag brag…” to fit the max character limit, this would have been it.
My stomach immediately turned.
I want to make it clear that I am happy for my contacts when they share their wins, however, to me, there is a big difference between 1) sharing wins occasionally and being inspirational and 2) constantly posting “look at me! I’m so awesome” posts.
(I would love to hear your opinion about this, by the way. Leave a comment and then come back to read the rest of my 19 lessons from 2019!)
I am not saying that I never get jealous. I do, especially when I am in the middle seat on a cross-country flight within view of the first class people getting their pillows, blankets and cocktails. But…
Besides when I have both my seat neighbors elbowing me or when I’m under the weather because I’ve given myself food poisoning, I generally am not any shade of green.
(Kim, you’re rambling. Get back to the point.)
My friend, the people you are meant to serve/support will appreciate and cheer your wins, but it’s important to balance the celebratory content with real-life, behind-the-scenes struggles and emotions.
People appreciate knowing they are not alone.
People do not appreciate feeling like they’re less than.
I was reminded in 2019 how connected people feel when struggles are shared.
Am I saying that we should only post the negative?
Oh, please goodness NO!
The world needs to see your light!
But… If you only shine the light on yourself, the world will begin to see through the transparency of your bull____.
(Come on… If I turn the camera in my office, there’s a pile of papers on one side of me and a plate from lunch and an empty coffee mug on the other. And… Let’s not mention what’s hiding behind my laptop screen.)
We can share pretty pictures on our social media profiles all day long, however sometimes what our community and prospects NEED to see is the sink full of dishes or the overflowing laundry basket that have been conveniently pushed out of view.
By the way… If your home is perfectly clean, I have five kids who could help you with that. #MaryPoppinsForgotAboutMe
Stop showboating and start humaning. Your community will love you more when they know you.
LESSON #11: Yesses and Nos Don’t Impact X’s and O’s
My friend, when is the last time you said “No” to someone who offered you money?
If I ask most of my friends that question, they would have to think hard to come up with an answer, if they even could.
To be honest, before 2019, I wouldn’t have had an answer outside of “never.”
But, here’s what I want you to consider…
Yesses and Nos Don’t Impact X’s and O’s.
The people who respect you will value your Nos and much as they do your Yesses. (Psst. Is there a better way to write Yes in plural?)
I didn’t learn how to say “No” until May of 2019. While I have been clear about my client avatar and the work I do since July 2016, I was still saying “yes” to waaaaay too much.
And then, in May, it hit me.
By saying “Yes” to the wrong activities, I was negatively impacting my ability to work on the right activities.
In my case, let me be clear about what “right” and “wrong” activities means to me:
- Wrong: Giving FREE time to ONE client
- Wrong: Working with clients whose values aren’t congruent with mine
- Wrong: Accepting work outside my genius zone
- Right: Creating free content to give to my whole community
- Right: Working with purposeful entrepreneurs in the coaching space who treat their clients like diamonds
- Right: Focusing my paid work ONLY on marketing and business automation
Becoming comfortable with the word “No” has taken me time. Most that time has come from the limiting belief that people would not like me if I told them “no.”
Unless they are hormonal teenagers (I have two in my house) or unreasonable adults (I have met more than a few), telling someone “no” can earn respect rather than diminish it.
Don’t believe me? Here are a few examples…
- In the fall of 2019, I had a call with a prospect who needed someone to manage her social media. That is NOT where my passion is. Period. I told her “no” and referred her to a previous team member. It was a win-win for both of them!
- Earlier this month I turned down a website design project because I know my skillset is not in building online forums, and I have no interest in expanding my skills in that area. By being upfront about my skills, and admitting that wasn’t my strength, I opened doors to work with the prospect in my genius zone.
I have no interest in working with people when I’m not in my genius zone. I don’t need that stress, and while I love to learn, I would rather use myself as the guinea pig before sacrificing my reputation. Besides, I have enough grey hair, and I’m pretty sure my kids have called dibs on converting the rest.
In addition, I don’t want to work with people who are stretched too thin — mentally or financially — to do the work that’s expected for our project to be a success.
For example, if you’re thinking about purchasing one of my courses but you’re overbooked and won’t possibly have time to go through it until 2024, I don’t want your money.
I want you to see results. Quickly.
I want your testimonial.
And, I want to see social media posts celebrating wins you have achieved as a result of our work together.
If you’re overbooked and/or stretch too thin, I know those results will not come without major stress — for you and/or me.
For both our sake, I reserve the right to say “no.”
Are you reserving your right to say “no”?
Think about it!
LESSON #12: Response Not Necessary
2019 taught me that I don’t always need to respond to everything.
I don’t always need the last word, and sometimes having the last word also earns the person who has it the idiot prize.
I’ve had clients send long-ish emails, partially filled with action items, and then, just for bad measure, throwing in a bit of shame and scare tactics.
2018 Kim would have responded to the shame and scare with emotion.
2019 Kim learned to ignore it.
My response and/or my response with emotion, via email, phone call or social media, doesn’t necessarily help me. Rather, it could feed a potentially hostile situation.
I don’t know about you, but I have too many goals and too much ambition to allow drama to take up any of my energy or brain space.
By the way, I’m human and sometimes I bite the bait. Those moments suck.
My friend, you have a choice. Feed the drama with your response or feed your future by diverting your energy elsewhere.
Which do you choose?
LESSON #13: God Always Has a Plan
My husband and I joke that God has a HUGE sense of humor. How else could you explain the fact that after we decided our family was complete, and while I was at the doctor to make it official, we heard the doctor say, “You’re pregnant… With twins.”
Okay, okay. I know how it happens. You don’t need to remind me. However… We had four miscarriages before I successfully carried our daughter. What are the chances that, 16 months after she was born, I gave birth to TWINS?
It wasn’t luck. It was God.
By the way… Our twins are boy-girl. You wouldn’t believe, however, how often we are asked if they are identical.
In 2019, God provided plenty of reminders to keep my eyes on Him…
And when I didn’t listen, He gave me a nudge. If I still didn’t listen, He gave me an elbow jab. And, if I was still stuck in my way…
THWACK! I got hit over the head with an all-powerful, holy 2-by-4 that nobody can ignore.
I realize you may not believe in God. You may have your own version of spiritual advisor, and I will never judge your beliefs.
But, are you listening to what He/She/They are telling you?
Life is difficult. Up-leveling personally and/or professionally is difficult. But if it’s killing you emotionally and/or physically, I guarantee you’re being too stubborn in your own ways to see the plan laid out in front of you.
LESSON #14: Building MY business needs to be a priority
I know the internal struggle associated with building your business. I remember, in 2015, writing to one of my online mentors and asking her how I would find time to work on my business when I was working for clients 80 hours a week and still struggling financially.
Her response to me was classic…
“One hour at a time, Kim. Every week, give yourself one more hour to work on your own business instead of for your clients.“
She was absolutely right. I can’t say I did it how she meant, but she was right.
What I could have done (scenario 1): Cut clients down to 79 hours and taken that extra hour for me.
What I really should have done (scenario 2): Recognized my value, doubled my rate, halved my client hours (to 40) and given myself an hour.
What I did: I began working one more hour a week and continued doing client work 80 hours a week.
This year, I want you to give yourself a gift.
I want you to give yourself time.
>> Give yourself time to build YOUR business.
>> Give yourself time for self-care.
>> Give yourself time to achieve your goals with reasonable deadlines.
Will you do this for me?
LESSON #15: There’s nothing that could ever go under our Christmas tree that would mean more to me than my time with my family
I know the holiday season can be tough. Trust me, I know.
Financially and emotionally, the holiday season can pay a toll on our psyche in the not-enough-ness department.
On Christmas Day 2018, we didn’t have the tree up. I was “this close” to a six-figure year, but the Friday before Christmas I was at the food bank because our shelves and bank account were empty.
Thankfully, none of the littles were in school (so they didn’t know the holiday was approaching), and my bigs were incredibly understanding. Our Christmas tree finally went up in March.
Backing up, however, on Christmas Eve 2018, I watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time… ever. It was life changing.
I’m ashamed to admit that, even as a Christian, I had been wrapped up in the materialism that surrounds Christmas. Is it horrible to say that I have a love/hate relationship with Santa?
Regardless of what holiday(s) you may or may not celebrate, I want to remind you that you ARE enough. And, at the end of our days, we won’t remember the gifts we gave each other but we will remember the time we spent with each other.
In 2019, our Christmas tree went up, but you won’t find pictures of presents under it on any of my social media profiles. To be honest, it doesn’t matter how many we have. What matters is who we have.
I’m going to give you an assignment with this lesson, similar to the one I gave with the last lesson.
I want you to give yourself time… Time with your loved ones.
Laugh, love and live, and let the joy of your loved ones fill your heart.
LESSON #16: Stress has an appetite… Even if I’m not eating
The list of my 19 lessons from 2019 has continued to grow, even since 2019 ended. One of the lessons was that stress greatly impacts my weight.
Unlike the Kim of 2010-2011, present day Kim gains weight when stressed.
I thought this was a fluke and caused by a lack of exercise, and I’m sure that in some way it could be. I’m older, I’ve had three more kids, and my metabolism has undoubtedly changed.
However, when chatting with my good friend, Devi Adea, last week, I joked about my stress having an appetite and she told me it’s actually a thing. Apparently (and I could use feedback from health practitioners here), stress increases Cortisol.
Upon further research, I was astounded by the affects of Cortisol. (Check out this article)
Too much Cortisol can lead to:
- muscle weakness
- increased thirst
- urinating more frequently
- changes in mood, such as feeling irritable or low
- rapid weight gain in the face and abdomen
- decreased sex drive
I would by lying if I said I hadn’t experienced ALL of the above in 2018-2019. And the rapid weight gain in my face and abdomen as well as the need to go pee often were very noticeable (by me).
Since decreasing stress, my need to pee in the middle of the night has vanished. (Hallelujah!!!)
And… I’ve been losing weight while only slightly changing my diet!
My friend, you don’t need to put up with anything that causes you stress. Yes, I understand that tough financial times can be stressful, but you can also choose to focus on what you DO have rather than what you don’t.
Learn from MY 19 lessons from 2019, and say goodbye to stressful people in your life. Say goodbye to opportunities which don’t serve you. And say goodbye to the limiting beliefs which are holding you back rather than allowing you to soar forward.
Holding on to the stress can kill you. Literally. Is it worth holding on to with a risk that large?
LESSON #17: My mental music playlist is a sanity and character saver
2019, as I’ve already admitted, was a rough year for my husband and I. But, after the dust settled, I made an admission to him.
“Um, when we were fighting and you were ranting, I zoned out and turned on my mental music playlist.“
“What’s on your playlist?” he asked.
My mental playlist saved me from saying many words which would have been highly detrimental.
For example, at an event, the host did something VERY un-cool (to me), after which, as a team member, I was required to have dinner with him and the rest of the team.
I ate my dinner in silence, which, if you know me, is VERY unlike me. As the author of the forthcoming book, Chronic Idea Disorder, I am always one to provide feedback and suggestions.
But, on this night, I, admittedly, removed myself emotionally from the conversation in the room and allowed my mental playlist to keep me from exploding in tears of rage.
(It wasn’t my event, and, despite my hurt feelings and disgust, I will never sabotage a clients’ event by feeding drama into it.)
My mental playlist saved me until after dinner when I excused myself, and, admittedly, let the tears flow.
And the playlist saved me during arguments with my husband from saying anything I would have regretted later.
Does that mean I didn’t say what I needed to say?
Heck, no! At 40 years old, I have finally learned to express my opinion. However, I have also learned WHEN to express my opinion.
My friend, in MercyMe’s words, “Sometimes you win some, and sometimes you lose some.” And, sometimes you just need to know when to keep your mouth shut and play your mental music playlist.
LESSON #18: Confidence in myself and my skills is my company’s greatest asset
I must admit, I’m laughing at some of the absurdities that occurred in 2019 as they relate to this lesson.
Between 2018 and early 2019, I bartered my marketing automation services for “coaching.” To be clear, the financial wins I saw in my business during this time were NOT the result of any work that came out of the coaching I received.
The work I had committed to didn’t allow me time to work on my own business, (See Lesson 14) however it was my mistake to commit to the barter arrangement.
But, listen to this one…
During a call with one of my coaches, I expressed my recent realization that I was undercharging for my services.
To put this into perspective, in 2014, when I became an Infusionsoft Certified Partner, other partners at the training talked about how they charged $250-$300/hour. I charged $50. And… I had only raised my rate once – to $100 – since then.
I’m damn good at what I do, and my clients — including my “Coach” know it.
But the response from my “Coach” was, “Don’t forget who’s sending you most of your work.“
In other words, don’t raise your rates on us, or we’ll stop referring people to you.
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. To the coach AND to myself, because I listened.
But, there was a festering in my brain, because I realized my skills, knowledge and expertise were worth far more than I was charging.
And, despite the fact that I was doing all the work, I was only getting paid half of my client was getting paid for the work.
If the client could get paid that amount, why couldn’t I? Oh, wait! I can!
God hit me with a few holy 2-by-4’s before I finally had the sense knocked in to me that I was worth just as much — if not more — than the client was charging. And, if I wasn’t going to get paid that much by them, that I could go get paid somewhere else.
So, I did.
My friend, don’t let a lack of confidence hold you back. Allow my 19 lessons from 2019 propel you into the future.
Your confidence in yourself and your skills are your company’s greatest asset. Grow your confidence. Nurture it. And charge what you deserve to be paid so you can serve your clients as the level they deserve (and expect).
LESSON #19: I don’t need to know all the answers
My friend, there’s so much I don’t know.
But, at almost 41 years old, I’m finally okay with that.
I’m perfectly fine with not knowing the answers today, because I know that as long as I continue doing my best, and as long as I learn from my 19 lessons from 2019, I will become an even better version of myself.
It’s okay to tell my kids and clients “I don’t know.” They don’t have all the answers, either.
I’m getting my pHD from the Entrepreneurial School of Hard Knocks, Thankfully, my dissertation can be presented to various boards, in various styles and formats, until I finally graduate. Until then, however, I’m going to have fun discovering the answers to some of my “I don’t know’s”, and I’ll credit the rest to be a perfectly imperfect human.
I would love to hear your thoughts about my 19 lessons from 2019. Did you experience any similar lessons in 2019 (or since)?
I invite you to leave a comment below!